Plan ahead

Have you ever had a conversation start with the comment: Don’t make it so complicated?  It has been my experience that you didn’t make it complicated; it already was.  It can be on any subject from cashing a check to going on vacation.  The problem is usually related to all the behind the scenes work that has to happen first.  Most of the time, you have some warning time to react, and everything gets done.  Nobody knows what was done or cares.  Here is an example of an unplanned event with little or no reaction time.  It is Sunday afternoon on a holiday weekend, and someone says, let’s jump in the car and drive to the coast.  I say, OK, give me about half an hour and I will be ready.  The response back is why.  Well I say, I need to get some gas, the car needs service, and I need to transfer some money.  Then it happens, why do you make it so complicated.  Well, first of all, none of those items were complicated, and all were already in existence, so the best course of action is to just resolve the issues.

Now, you can always say that it was bad planning.  Probably true, but there was never a plan to go on a trip, and all three concerns could be resolved quickly.  So there are planning concerns on both sides here, but the problem seems to be caused by not knowing what has to be done.  One family member never thought about having fuel in the car, having the tires checked, or getting cash out of the ATM.  The other family member never thought about going on a trip on a short notice on a holiday weekend.  This is a simple example but not unlike what can happen at work any time.  You never know what will happen, and we seldom plan for every contingency.  Right now, I have a workstation down that contains an important data application.  It is Sunday, and my action plan is to repair it Monday when the IT department is open.  So what happens if I need the data today.  Now we are in the should have, could have discussion or it is the why do you make it so complicated.

The more experience you have with something, the more you will be prepared for unplanned events.  It is because you or someone you know has already had that event.  When you are looking to hire a new staff member, look for experience as much as you look for skills. You want someone that has been there before and has the ability to address unplanned events.

Did you find some neat ideas in this blog? What are the exciting ideas you came up with, and how are you implementing them? Let me know by contacting me at

For more information on creating a strategic plan that works, contact